This announcement solicits applications for a National Technical Resource Center for Newborn Hearing Screening and Intervention (Center) in support of the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program (UNHS). The purpose of the UNHS program is to utilize specifically targeted and measurable interventions
to increase the number of infants who are followed up for rescreening, referral, and intervention after having not passed a physiologic newborn screening examination prior to discharge from the newborn nursery.
The focus of the Center will be to provide to state Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs training and technical assistance for planning, policy development, implementing innovations and quality improvement methodology to reduce their loss to follow-up rate/loss to documentation (LTF/D), i.e.
the number of infants who do not receive timely and appropriate screening follow-up and coordinated interventions. The goals of the Center are to:
(1) improve the performance of state EHDI programs in decreasing the loss to follow-up rates by 5% per year, especially in rural and underserved communities; and (2) increase to 100% the number of state EHDI programs that have incorporated quality improvement methodology and processes into their operations.
The goals will be addressed through the following strategies: · Forming a multidisciplinary project advisory group to include family representatives, members of medically underserved populations, pediatric health professionals, audiologists, public health representatives, evaluators, quality improvement and telehealth experts; · Identifying and exploring innovative and promising practices.
Examples include the linkage of newborns to family-centered medical homes (FCMH), the coordination between FCMH and early intervention programs, the linkage to home visiting programs, and the use of telehealth/teleinteventions for improving access to screening follow-up services, including diagnosis and interventions; · Developing and implementing a dissemination and diffusion of nnovations plan that includes the following:
the target population, goals, improvements, culturally and linguistically competent tools, measures, methods and channels to be used for communication with opinion leaders, peers, stakeholders, and other key audiences; · Providing technical assistance to state EHDI programs both individually and through learning communities, regarding workforce solutions, policy and finance approaches for sustaining their programs, and integration of their efforts with other state early childhood and health promotion (i.e., medical home approach) efforts; and · Working cooperatively and collaboratively with Federal and non-Federal programs function, including American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Head Start Bureau at the Administration for Children and Families, National Institute of Health, the Department of Education¿s IDEA Part C Early Intervention programs, and other pertinent organizations related to the implementation of sustainable EHDI programs.
Anticipated targets for the Center include the following:
· 100% of the state EHDI programs will have incorporated quality improvement methodology processes into their operations; · At least 25 states will have conducted a feasibility study of electronic linkages between EHDI databases and vital statistics, early intervention, and/or immunization databases to enable easy retrieval of newborn hearing screening results by health care practitioners; · Double the number of states from four to eight (4 to 8) that employ telehealth technology to increase access to services for infants in the UNHS program; and · 95% of states will have a process in place to facilitate the linkage of all infants in the UNHS program to FCMH.
Success of the program will be reflected in annual data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating that:
· Each state/territory has met the annual performance requirement of reducing the LTF/D percentage by 5%; · Maintain the percentage of infants who are screened before one (1) month of age at 98%; · Increase the percentage of infants who fail their newborn hearing screening that will have an audiologic diagnosis before three (3) months of age to 90% from 70% in 2012 and; · 95% of infants found to have a hearing loss will be enrolled in an early intervention program before six (6) months of age.